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Disaster Waste Management: How does the JEU support management of disaster waste?


Disasters caused by natural and human-induced hazards, or a combination of them, can generate large quantities of waste, including building debris, fallen trees, and hazardous waste.

Disaster waste is a threat to health, safety, and the environment. However, it is often managed in an ad hoc manner and can be a major impediment to emergency relief operations, hampering humanitarian efforts by blocking access to affected populations.

Key Issues

Uncollected building rubble from damaged buildings impede access and hampers rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Further issues can arise from for example exposed asbestos in collapsed structures.

Inappropriate and scattered dump sites is increasing health and injury risks, especially from hazardous materials. It destroys valuable land, impacts drinking water supplies and fisheries. Increases risk of disease vectors such as mosquitoes and rats.

Collapse of waste management services, including possible loss of experienced waste managers leads to further uncontrolled dumping sites.

Uncontrolled dumping of healthcare waste poses serious risks to local populations, including further spread of disease and infections.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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